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Things That Matter More When Leading Other Leaders

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Coaching matters more. You might be tempted to think this matters less, after all now you are coaching people who have already been promoted to a supervisory or leadership position – you have the cream of the crop, right? That might be true, and, the need for coaching does grow. Because your leaders need to be better and better leaders, not just great individual contributors, your coaching is critical to helping them. Not only that, but as you already know, the role of leadership is complex and we all need support and a coach or mentor to help us when we have challenging situations.

Thinking matters more. Chances are you are running hard to balance your to-do list and juggle your calendar. If that is true, you need to refocus and re-adjust. Your organization needs you to do more than do more work – it needs you to think. The popular word for this is to strategize – but I actually mean that and more. For leaders to really lead, we must make time to think about the direction of the team, the opportunities and challenges in front of them and what they personally need to be doing. You can’t do these things well in five minutes between meetings and while answering your email.

Your example matters more. As you advance in the leadership ranks you may think you need to improve your presentation skills and you would be right. And, people are doing more than listening to your words, they are watching you. And as a leader further up in the organization, more people are watching, both directly and indirectly. Is your example the one you want people following? Time spent thinking about this and being more intentional about the big and little things you do (and yes, say), will have a significant positive outcome for your team.

Conversation matters more. Not more meetings – more conversations. There are likely some meetings you don’t need to go to – have you delegated effectively? And during the meetings you are attending – are you doing more talking or asking? Ask more, talk less. Shut up and listen. People have heard you talk, but have they seen you really listen? Conversations are created by an open exchange of ideas, challenges and opportunities. Your team needs you to do this – and model it for others.

Influence matters more. When you are a supervisor of a team, you can influence them more directly – you are interacting with them regularly. As you move up in the organization, your influence has greater reach and leverage, so it becomes more important. People are looking for those to influence them. Make sure it is you, and your influence is appropriate and positive.

There are other skills that may become more important to you as well, and this is a very important starter list. Take a minute, regardless of your leadership level, to think about: which of these could I, and those I lead, most benefit from my further development.

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